Are you in Singapore, grappling with the debilitating challenges of low back pain and yearning for effective chiropractic treatment? It’s time to embark on a quest for professional help. But with a plethora of options available, it’s vital to discern the right qualities for optimal care. In this comprehensive guide tailored specifically for low back pain patients, we present you with eight research-supported factors to consider when seeking help.
Empower yourself with the knowledge to make an informed decision. Say goodbye to the shackles of low back pain and unlock a life of comfort and mobility, as we unveil the ultimate secrets to finding the most suitable healthcare chiropractor in Singapore.
The recommendations from this article is from the paper Introducing Australia’s Clinical Care Standard for Low Back Pain.
1. Comprehensive initial clinical assessment ✅
Our initial assessment and consultation is 90 minutes at least. If you come with multiple issues, complex conditions, or a long history of past injuries, it can easily take over three hours!
No, we don’t bill extra for requiring more time with you.
2. Consideration of psychosocial factors ✅
Our onboarding form includes questions about our clients social well-being, work, family, etc. We have had feedback that the form was too long in the past. While we did trim it down, psychosocial factors is something we are kept and are mindful of.
During the first consultation, we would also discuss what they think is their condition, how they feeling about it, whether they think they will recover, as well as what they think will be helpful for them. We address them accordingly either at the first session or subsequent sessions.
For clients with various psychosocial challenges, we provide resources for them to work on it early in their recovery. This can come in the form of mindfulness practice, journaling, or even reading and/or watching evidence-based content.
3. Reservation of imaging only for suspected serious pathology ✅
We strictly follow what clinical guidelines recommend when it comes to referral for x-ray or MRIs. In the absence of red flags, we recommend AGAINST further imaging.
We have wonderful research data to show that it is not necessary and also that early imagine can worsen patient’s outcomes. This can range from going for unnecessary surgery to having more pain, when compare to other patients with the same condition but did not undergo imaging.
You should 100% avoid clinics that recommend X-ray for most/all of their clients. They do this so it’s easier for them to engage in fear mongering sales tactics. Remember, there is no benefit for you (unless you got red flags, which is very rare).
4. Inclusion of education and advice as part of care ✅
Okay, just look at how much content we put out for free. Yes, admittedly they are mostly written content cos that is what we are best at.
Education and advice is important because it stops you from doing what doesn’t work and what may make your condition worse, within an evidence-based framework. For example, one of the things that we get people to stop is stretching.
Yes, it comes as a shock for most of our clients. However, there’s no evidence to show that stretching is effective!
You can only get the best results by doing more of what works and less of what doesn’t work.
Make sense right?
5. Focus on exercise and self-management ✅
Our entire practice revolves around exercise and what you can do by yourself so you can own self help own self.
Yes, we do work in a recovery programme that requires you to check in for multiple sessions. However, these programmes have a fixed end point. In other words, we make it a point to make sure our clients can help themselves by the end of the programme without making them to come back over and over again.
This is a huge contrast from standard chiropractic care in Singapore where you are often required to come back for life. Even with personal trainers, most of their clients would work with them for years! We don’t advocate this at our practice and we proactively empower our clients to care for themselves.
6. Treatments include physical and/or psychological interventions ✅
The physical interventions is clear. We use exercise to help our clients help themselves find freedom from pain.
Psychological interventions is a bit more challenging because we don’t have a clinical psychologist on the team. I am pursuing further studies in psychology so that may be something we can offer in the future.
For clients with clinical psychology issues, we do refer them to a trained psychologist.
For everyone else (i.e., no clinical psychology issues), I tap into my solution focused training to help them out. Very often what clients need most in their recovery is reassurance and also someone to help them improve their health habits (e.g., improve sleep, have better stress management, etc). This falls into the scope of solutions focused coaching.
Again, I have to clarify that clients with clinical conditions such as depression, anxiety, etc, we don’t work directly with them on these issues and refer them to the appropriate therapist for further care or co-management.
7. Judicious use of pain medicines ✅
As a chiropractor, I cannot prescribe medication so that’s that.
What I can do is to make recommendations based on what the current clinical guidelines suggest. Very often, this means helping clients who are unnecessarily medicated to wean off their drugs.
Do note that in virtually ALL of these cases, their family doctor/GP also encourage them to stop medicating as much as possible. In other words, there is no conflict.
Conversely, I also do let it known when a client should consider medication. Majority of these cases are clients who already have pain medication at home but are refusing to take them at all.
I do agree long term medication is not ideal but if you’re getting nowhere with your recovery with non-pharmacological interventions. It is OKAY to medicate, as per doctor’s prescription, for a couple of days. It’s not going to be the end of the world.
In fact, they usually make better progress after that.
Yes, medication is very frown upon and the evidence supporting their use is not compelling at all. Having said that, they are still within clinical guideline recommendations (just very low) and should be considered as necessary.
8. Referral to other healthcare professionals ✅
Granted we don’t do this a lot at our practice. Not because I don’t think other healthcare professionals are no good or have no role to play in low back pain management. Instead, it is because most of our clients would have already seen the whole suite of them before coming to us 😂😂
The only exception to that is probably psychologist. Most Singaporeans are still very adverse to seeking psychotherapy so there are still instances where we find the need to make a referral and encourage the use of it.
Also, outside of physical activity and education, cognitive behavioural therapy is the ONLY other first-line intervention recommended for chronic low back pain.If you have back pain and you are in the midst of figuring out who you should see, our practice entirely falls in line with what the latest research recommends.
Drop us a message via the form below to learn more about how we can help you help yourself find freedom from pain. If you don’t want to see us, that’s also okay. Make sure you bring this list to whoever you want to go to, and check if they meet all eight criteria. If they don’t, then please find a new healthcare provider!
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Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.
Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.